Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tigers Lose to Royals in Extra Innings

It looked as if the Tigers would get their first sweep of the year today. They led 3-1 going into the ninth and Todd Jones who was unscored upon in 8 previous appearances was on the mound. However, you could sense trouble when Jones issued a rare walk to leadoff batter David DeJesus. After all, Todd's success depends on his control. Sure enough, he allowed 2 hits and 2 runs and the Royals tied the game. He actually almost got out of it on a game ending double play ball to shortstop but Ross Gload was just barely safe at first and Mark Teahen scored to send it into extra innings. John Buck then put the Royals ahead 4-3 by belting a solo home run off Fernando Rodney in the 10th and that was the final score.

The Tigers offense could not do much with Gil Meche who is, thus far, making his huge contract look a little more reasonable. Meche pitched 8 innings allowing 3 unearned runs on 6 hits. They did even less against Joakim Soria who recorded 4 strikeouts in 2 shutout innings. The leading Tigers hitters were Curtis Granderson with 3 hits and Placido Polanco and Craig Monroe with 2 apiece. Monroe had put the Tigers ahead with a 2 run single in the 3 run 6th inning.

Eric Jackson also has a nice recap

Analysis

Two key players are becoming just a bit of a concern. First, Fernando Rodney has now allowed 14 base runners in 7 1/3 innings which has resulted in one or more runs in 4 out of his 7 appearances. I still expect him to come around but he has not been sharp yet and it doesn't take a lot for a reliever to have an off season.

The other concern is Gary Sheffield. His .133 batting average does not worry me but his 13 strikeouts in 15 games is a bit alarming. In the games I've seen, he has looked bad chasing a lot more balls than I would expect from him. Since he has never struck out more than 83 times in a season, his current rate is pretty unusual. I'm still confident, he will turn it around but one has to be just a little concerned. about the k rate.

Somebody not to worry about is Jeremy Bonderman who now is 4 for 4 in quality starts despite having no wins to show for it. He allowed just 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 6 and walking nobody in 7 innings. For the season, he has a 2.25 ERA and a 21/3 K/BB ration in 28 innings. This is another example why the win/loss stat for pitchers is simply not very useful.


3 comments:

  1. This game can't really be blamed on Jones or Rodney. The fact of the matter is that the batters had several opportunities to tack on extra runs. Once in the 1st with a runner at 3rd but Guillen hit into a double play. And another time later in the game when Sheffeild and Casey both popped up with less then two outs and a runner on 3rd. Also the sacrifice bunt late in the game was a poor decision against a pitcher that they have taken advantage of before.

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  2. I certainly don't blame Jones who had been near perfect prior to today. The offense has definitely been a problem in many games this season. They have only a couple of players who are hitting consistently right now.

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  3. Doug PurdieApril 19, 2007

    Ditto your concern about Rodney - vexation too! He makes hitters look silly an awful lot. It only seems to happen on the 1st or 2nd strike though. The problem is that he has to throw more pitches after and the hitters are making him look silly on those subsequent pitches. Consistancy eludes him.

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